Air Canada screwed me. I'm stuck in Frankfurt Airport for another six hours until I can fly out to Toronto, and lord only knows how long it will be until another plane can carry me to back Jersey. The worst part of it is that I'm trapped in the Eurozone with a wallet and bank account full of worthless American dollars. I just paid seven dollars for a twelve ounce latte. WiFi runs ten dollars an hour.
Fuck Air Canada. Fuck Canada. Henceforth I shall live as wastefully as possible so as to accelerate the US's inevitable push northward to annex Canada and gobble up its natural resources. YOU FUCKERS DESERVE IT. YOUR FUTURE IS A BOOT STAMPING ON A HUMAN FACE. FOREVER.
Sorry, sorry. I'm not mad at you, I'm just mad at the situation.
Uh, so I guess I got nothing better to do than talk about Poland, where I spent Christmas with my father. A friend of mine insisted I take pictures, and I got off to a great start by leaving my camera in Jersey. I was able to borrow a camera from my old man, but didn't get much opportunity to take many snappies. But let's have a look at them, since I really don't have anything better to do. The alternative is to buy a giant stein of beer and chain smoke and --
-- actually, that sounds pretty great. You know that they still sell Djarum cigarettes in Poland? I wrote The Zeroes chaining Djarum Vanillas, and I've got a pack of those in my pocket. Fuck Air Canada, fuck my lungs.
Anyway. We're still gonna run through these.
We didn't have a star, so we used a codpiece instead. Or at least that's what it looks like.
I'm not sure what to say about Pruszków. It's a very lovely, very chill little town. (I use "chill" to mean "laid-back," of course, but it is also very cold.) Speaking with a classmate's Polish girlfriend at my high-school reunion, I was told that Pruszków is known for being a mafia town, but her information was outdated. Now it's known for....
Anyway, If I had to object or complain about some aspects of Pruszków, I'd point out a litter problem. There's a lot of trash lying around, even in the (otherwise lovely) public park on the fringe of town. And you know how cleaning up after your dog is standard procedure in the States (or at least in the parts from which I've hailed?) Well -- not so much here. The shit piles up on the frozen ground and gets buried by successive snowfalls. When the temperature rises, as it did on an unseasonably warm day in the middle of the week, the snow melts and disappears, leaving behind several weeks' worth of cryogenically preserved dogshit.
(Recycling bins. There aren't many of those, either. The only one I saw during my whole stay was at the Warsaw airport this morning. I probably threw out more plastic bottles this week than in the previous fifty-one combined.)
The Copernicus Museum is one of those interactive science museums in the same vein as Jersey's Liberty Science Center, which means it's great fun and does an admirable job of illustrating scientific concepts through interactive exhibits. The problem is that it brings in too many god damn children, who run around mashing all the buttons and turning all the levers they can without bothering to notice the lessons the pieces were built to convey.
Toys are wasted on kids.
If an Apollo lives in this rational age, surely He would appear to His faithful in this image. HAIL!
I found a watercolor print of the beast on sale for a buck at a museum gift shop. How could I not buy it? I think I'm gonna give it to my roommate as a present. ("Merry Chistmas! I saw this picture of the ugliest building in Warsaw and thought of you. Go fuck yourself.")
These are quite beautiful in comparison to the apartments constructing during the Soviet period. Anything constructed between the late 1940s and the late 1990s are basically giant concrete slabs with windows. I'm told that early on, their Soviet architects wouldn't even give them porches or window boxes. ("Loyal workers only home for sleep! For what is home amenities being needed?") As the Soviet grasp on Poland became more tenuous, the newer buildings were constructed with slightly more consideration for their tenants' humanity.
Interesting. You've got to figure that the average graffiti artist is in his early twenties. That means we're seeing NES iconography approrpriated by people who were too young to have ever owned an NES. Hmmm.
The more one learns about Polish history, one cannot help but be impressed by the Poles' stubbornness and tenacity. The art in the Warsaw Royal Castle is an example. You'll enter a room full of tremendous 18th century landscape paintings and read that they were hung up in 1700-something -- and then some were stolen by Napoleon and the French army, and others by Nicholas and the Russian army, and were then returned so they could get stolen by the Nazis before the palace itself was blown to smithereens during the Uprising. The Poles finished reconstructing the castle -- without any approval or help from their Soviet administrators -- just in time for the paintings to be returned and hung back up in the late 1980s.
My diminuitive friend Yen insisted I tell my father I love him at some point during the trip -- and if you're a male, you'll understand that this is really usually more of a deathbed conversation. But after visiting the Castle, my old man and I went to a little eatery where there are essentially three things on the menu: cod, kielbasa, and vodka. A shot of vodka runs about $1.50. A plate consisting of a sausage, buttered bread, some mustard, and a tomato slice costs the same price. (I'm told places like this were much more common and popular during the Soviet years. I'm mystified as to how anyone could possibly compete with or get tired of them.) At any rate, after six shots of vodka I had a much easier time breaking the news to my father that I loved him. Then we went home and watched Airplane. Now I'm here and fuck Air Canada.
I'm going to go smoke the rest of my Djarums.